Mohegan Tribal Chief Named Eastern’s Commencement Speaker

 Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba, chief of the Mohegan Tribe, will be the Commencement Speaker at Eastern Connecticut State University’s 129th Commencement Exercises on May 21 at the XL Center in Hartford. Malerba will also receive an honorary doctorate degree at the ceremonies.

Malerba has achieved an exemplary career in the health care and tribal governance fields. Not only has she served her community with distinction, she has brought national recognition to the State of Connecticut.

Chief Mutáwi Mutáhash (Many Hearts) Marilynn “Lynn” Malerba became the 18th Chief of the Mohegan Tribe on August 15, 2010, and is the first female chief in the tribe’s modern history. The position is a lifetime appointment made by the tribe’s council of elders. She previously served as chairwoman of the tribal council and was also executive director of health and human services for the tribal government.

Prior to her work for the Mohegan Tribe, Chief Malerba had a distinguished career as a registered nurse and served as director of cardiology and pulmonary services at Lawrence and Memorial Hospital. She earned her Doctor of Nursing Practice degree at Yale University and was named a Jonas Scholar. She holds a master’s degree in Public Administration from the University of Connecticut, and has an honorary doctorate from the University of St. Joseph in West Hartford.

Chief Malerba has achieved a national reputation as an advocate and supporter of health issues and the welfare of Native Peoples. She is chairwoman of the Tribal Self-Governance Advisory Committee of the Federal Indian Health Services; is a member of the U.S. Justice Department’s Tribal Nations Leadership Council; serves on the Tribal Advisory Committee for the National Institute of Health; is a member of the U.S. Treasury Department’s Tribal Advisory Committee; and serves as a technical expert on the Commission for Environmental Cooperation. She also serves as the United South and Eastern Tribes board of directors secretary, and is a member of the board of directors for the Ms. Foundation for Women.

In Connecticut, Chief Malerba serves as a trustee for Chelsea Groton Bank, as a board member for the Community Foundation of Eastern Connecticut, as an advisory committee member for the Harvard University Native American Program and served on the board of directors for Lawrence Memorial Hospital for 11 years.

More than 1,200 undergraduate and graduate students will receive their diplomas at Eastern’s graduation exercises on May 21, with an audience of more than 10,000 family and friends expected. In addition to Malerba, dignitaries expected to attend include Eastern President Elsa Núñez; Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State Colleges and Universities System; and Merle Harris, vice-chair of the Board of Regents for Higher Education.

Written by Ed Osborn

‘A Narrative of Printmaking’ on Display in Eastern’s Art Gallery

The artists and curator (red chairs) discuss the exhibition during the March 28 opening reception.

The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University hosted a reception and artist talk for its current exhibition, “Between Spaces: A Narrative of Printmaking,” on March 28. The collection is curated by Simonette Quamina, assistant professor of printmaking, and remains open until April 25. Artists Taro Takizawa, David Curcio, Carrie Scanga and Cornelia Mcsheehy are featured in the exhibition.

“Et Capitibus Volvent” (2018) by Cornelia McSheeshy–lithography, rubber stamp, raffia, wire Asian papers, ink, mud puddle wash.

“Between Spaces” focuses on the representation or exploration of space through the medium of printmaking. The show includes contemporary prints as well as 3D works constructed of prints, books, installations and other forms of printmaking that take the print off the wall and bring it into the space of the gallery.

While selecting installations for the exhibition, Quamina specifically chose pieces that would create a narrative around the institution of printmaking itself, as well as show the different mediums and styles of printmaking.

At the reception, all four artists discussed their creative processes and inspirations, as well as their background with printmaking and other artistic mediums. Students and those who attended were able to ask the panel questions regarding their evolution as artists.

“I love the process of printmaking,” said McSheehy, a professor of printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design. “There’s a sculptural element to it, almost a hybridity. I like fooling around with space in galleries, and I like pieces that jump at you from off the wall.”

“I really like the contrast between solid and delicate,” said Scanga, a multidisciplinary artist from Bowdoin College in Maine. “I like taking solid, steadfast objects and making them temporary and fragile.”

Scanga’s interest in the contrast of fragility inspired her to create a series of pieces created by wrapping printed tracing paper around a brick, which is later removed. These ghostly bricks are then stacked to create an architectural installation in galleries.

“Hostess Club” and “Glassy Day” (2016) by David Curcio–woodcut.

Takizawa, a recent graduate of the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University, also takes inspiration from contrast, although his focus turns toward patterns, color and time periods. He is best known for his large-scale vinyl installation works, which can often be seen on the glass walls of cafés or storefronts, as well as in galleries.

“Ballast” (2012-14) by Carrie Scanga–tracing paper with intaglio printing.

“I draw a lot of influence from Japan, which has a fairly pure culture and artistic tradition,” Takizawa said. “I try to make old patterns my own, like things from architecture, textile or armor design. I like to reinvent ancient patterns into something modern.”

Curcio, who has an MFA in printmaking from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY, specializes in woodcuts, which is the oldest printmaking technique. His inspiration comes spontaneously to him, and he is often influenced by the media he consumes.

“When I started getting into woodcuts, I was watching a lot of Japanese gangster films,” Curcio explained. “If I had been watching Irish mafia movies, I’m sure they would have been different, but I’m glad they turned out this way. Film noir is a big influence of mine, I love it.”

Several of the artists discussed their reasons for creating prints, as well as their motivations behind being an artist. “There’s a fine line you have to walk between making art for yourself and making art to send a message,” Scanga concluded. “It’s always going to be a little bit of both, at least for me – because art is so personal, it’s also political, and vice versa.”

Eastern’s Art Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 1-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2-5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu/artgallery or call (860) 465-4659.

Written by Raven Dillon

Eastern Art Gallery to Feature ‘A Narrative of Printmaking’

WILLIMANTIC, CT (03/21/2019) Eastern Connecticut State University will showcase an exhibit titled “Between Spaces: A Narrative of Printmaking” from March 23-April 25 in the Art Gallery of the Fine Arts Instructional Center. The opening reception will occur on March 28 from 4-6 p.m. A talk featuring all four artists will precede the reception from 3-3:45 p.m. in the Art Gallery.

The collection is curated by Simonette Quamina, an assistant professor of printmaking at Eastern. Four artists are featured in the exhibition, including Taro Takizawa, David Curcio, Carrie Scanga and Cornelia Mcsheehy. The exhibition focuses on the representation or exploration of space through the medium of printmaking. The show will include contemporary prints as well as 3D works constructed of prints, books, installations and other forms of printmaking that take the print off the wall and into the space of the gallery.

Takizawa is a visual artist who recently graduated from the College of Visual and Performing Arts at Syracuse University. He focuses on printmaking, vinyl installations, painting, drawing and ceramics.

Curcio has a MFA in printmaking from the Pratt Institute in Brooklyn, NY. He specializes in printmaking, woodcuts, drawing and embroidery. Curcio’s work often features animals or portraits, taking inspiration from the symmetry of nature and the beauty of the human form.

Scanga is a multidisciplinary artist from the University of Washington who focuses on printmaking and installations. She takes inspiration from personal mythologies, ecology, architecture and design. Scanga teaches at Bowdoin College in Brunswick, ME.

McSheehy is a professor of printmaking at the Rhode Island School of Design and her work has been exhibited nationally and internationally in both group and solo exhibitions since 1969. She earned her master’s degree in printmaking from the State University of New York at Albany.

Eastern’s Art Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 1-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2-5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu/artgallery or call (860) 465-4659.

Written by Raven Dillon

Artist Explains ‘Sacred Geometry,’ on Display Until March 7

Reni Gower explains the concepts behind her artwork during her visit to Eastern.

Mixed-media artist Reni Gower recently visited Eastern Connecticut State University to kick off the opening of her exhibition, “Sacred Geometry: The Perfect Proof.” The exhibition is on display in the Art Gallery from Feb. 1 to March 7, located in room 112 in the Fine Arts Instructional Center.

“Sacred Geometry” consists of large singular “papercuts,” which are complex patterns inspired by Celtic knotwork and Islamic ornamental tiles that are hand cut from single sheets of paper. Gower was inspired by sacred geometry, a concept from ancient times that derives meaning from perfect shapes such as circles, squares and triangles. At her lecture, Gower discussed her development as an artist and how her fascination with patterns and geometry has continually inspired her work since she was a student.

Papercuts: Burdock (2018) and Quatrefoil (2018). Acrylic on hand-cut paper

“Geometry exists as an intrinsic belief in the natural world,” said Gower. “Humans love to find patterns in everything, and there are plenty of them in nature. Time, culture and religion come together in this concept of observing and creating perfect geometric shapes.”

Gower’s artistic evolution began with her mixed-media work. She used recycled materials such as canvas, cheesecloth, plastic, aluminum screens or rug-hold, and cut them into strips to be layered onto a frame. After arranging these materials, she then painted her unusual canvas with acrylic in varying designs. This highly-contrasting work led to Gower’s experimentation with acrylic and canvas with more conventional methods, but her interest in mixed-media never wavered.

“I have always been interested in recycled materials being used in art,” Gower said. “A common theme in all of my work is materials adding up to more than the sum of their parts.”

Her interest in geometry led her to explore the ancient art of papercutting. These pieces are painstakingly designed and cut from a single piece of paper. Some of Gower’s works are over six feet in length. The process is laborious but meditative, allowing Gower to reflect on the nature of geometric designs.

“Sacred Geometry: The Perfect Proof” features these intricate works of art and Gower hopes the universal language of sacred geometry will connect Western and Middle Eastern artistic legacies with hope and optimism.

Eastern’s Art Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 1-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2-5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu/artgallery or call (860) 465-4659.

Written by Raven Dillon

‘Sacred Geometry’ to Open Eastern Art Gallery

The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University will open its first exhibition of the spring 2019 semester from Feb. 1-March 7. “Sacred Geometry: The Perfect Proof” features the work of mixed-media artist Reni Gower. A talk with the artist will occur on Feb. 12 from 3-3:45 p.m., followed by an opening reception from 4-6 p.m. The gallery is located in room 112 of the Fine Arts Instructional Center. Admission is free.

“Sacred Geometry” consists of large singular “papercuts,” which are complex patterns inspired by Celtic knotwork and Islamic ornamental tiles, and are hand cut from single sheets of paper. Gower was inspired by sacred geometry, a concept from ancient times that derives meaning from perfect shapes such as circles, squares and triangles. In her work, Gower hopes to use the universal language of sacred geometry to connect Western and Middle Eastern artistic   legacies with hope and optimism.

Gower’s work has beeen featured in venues across the United States, as well as internationally, in such countries as Qatar, United Arab Emirates, Australia, Italy, Peru, Korea, Israel, England and Russia. She’s received numerous grants and awards, including the Southeastern College Art Conference Award for Outstanding Artistic Achievement in 2017.

Eastern’s Art Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 1-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2-5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu/artgallery or call (860) 465-4659.

Written by Raven Dillon

Eastern Art Students to Present ‘Society’s Ultimate Playlist’

WILLIMANTIC, CT (11/14/2018) The Art and Art History Department at Eastern Connecticut State University will host an exhibition titled “Society’s Ultimate Playlist” from Nov. 28 to Dec. 12 in the Student Gallery of Eastern’s Wood Support Services Center. The opening reception will occur Dec. 5 from 5-7 p.m.

Curated by students in Professor Gail Gelburd’s Museums and Exhibitions course, the exhibition explores a brief timeline of three historic events in 20th-century American history: the Harlem Renaissance, Vietnam War and 9/11. The show highlights the use of music and art as a response to these conflicts.

The exhibition takes the viewer through a variety of iconic works that echo the political conflicts of the time. The show analyzes the works of 20th-century African-American artist Romare Bearden, who was influenced by the jazz music of the Harlem Renaisance. Vietnam memorabilia shows the public controversy of the war, which was expressed through rock ‘n’ roll music. Finally, artist David Wagner’s chaotic imagery of the collapsing Twin Towers illustrates the fear and madness of the aftermath; an event that resulted in a rise in patriotism, which is often expressed through country music.

Eastern Connecticut State University is the state of Connecticut’s public liberal arts university, serving more than 5,300 students annually at its Willimantic campus and satellite locations. In addition to attracting students from 163 of Connecticut’s 169 towns, Eastern also draws students from 26 other states and 20 other countries. A residential campus offering 40 majors and 65 minors, Eastern offers students a strong liberal art foundation grounded in an array of applied learning opportunities. Ranked the 25th top public university in the North Region by U.S. News and World Report in its 2018 Best College ratings, Eastern has also been awarded ‘Green Campus’ status by the Princeton Review eight years in a row. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu.

It is the policy of Eastern Connecticut State University to ensure equal access to its events. If you are an individual with a disability and will need accommodations for this event, please contact the Office of University Relations at (860) 465-5735.

Digital Art Exhibition at Eastern Begs for Human Interaction

In Balam Soto’s piece “Interface,” projections shift on the wall according to surfaces touched by visitors.

Written by Raven Dillon

WILLIMANTIC, CT (11/06/2018) The work of Hartford-based digital artist Balam Soto is on display at the Eastern Connecticut State University Art Gallery from Nov. 1-Dec. 7 in an exhibition titled “Interface.” Blurring the line between spectator and participant, the exhibition allows gallery visitors to manipulate the digital artwork by physically interacting with its tactile components.

“I have always been inspired by technology,” said Soto at the Nov. 1 opening reception. “Technology is an ocean, large enough to swim in, and it can transform the way people look at the world, or look at art.”

Eastern students interact with “Interface.”

Pieces in the gallery incorporate tactile surfaces that, when touched, cause fluctuations in sound and light projection, literally putting the experience of the art into gallery visitors’ hands. With the press of a button, sounds change and projections morph as the artwork endlessly transforms.

Soto handles both the creative and technical sides of his art. He melds low tech with high tech and employs the use of custom software and electronics. “When people go to galleries or museums, there is a glass wall between them and the exhibition,” said Soto as he watched students

A hand affects sound and light with the piece “Sonic Moon.”

interact with his artwork. “I want to remove that barrier.”

At first, visitors were hesitant to touch any of the installations – seemingly content to view from a distance the beautiful abstract projections on the walls. The energy within the gallery quickly changed, however, once patrons realized they could interact with the pieces.

Within 20 minutes, the “glass wall” had been shattered and the gallery was filled with fluidly shifting projections and echoing musical harmonies. The visitors became an integral part of the display. Most pieces in the exhibition allow for human interaction, thus altering the experience.

Kristen Morgan, director of new media studies and associate professor of theatre, enjoys Interface exhibition, holding one Godeon while the older son, Judevine, takes a break to “interface” with his Rubics Cube! BTW, Judevine is also the name of a play written by the late poet, David Budbill, a dear family friend from Vermont.

Soto is an internationally successful artist, with gallery exhibitions and art pieces around the world. He has received six Editor’s Choice awards and one Best in Class award from the World Maker Faire, held in the New York Hall of Science Museum.

He has also received official citations from the Mayor of Hartford, and the governors of Rhode Island and Massachusetts. In April 2008, Soto was honored with a Diploma of Recognition as a “Maestro,” a Master of Visual Arts, by the National Congress of Guatemala for “being a valuable and outstanding artist with international success.”

New media “Interface” artist Balam Soto chats with Retired Mathematics Professor Emeritus Stephen Kenton during the reception for the exhibition.

Eastern’s Art Gallery is located in Room 112 of the Fine Arts Instructional Center on the Eastern campus. Parking is available in Cervantes Garage and in the Student Center parking lot. The gallery is free and open to the public on Tuesday and Wednesday 11 to 5 p.m., Thursday 1 to 7 p.m., and Saturday and Sunday 2 to 5 p.m. For more information, call the gallery at (860) 465-4659 or visit www.easternct.edu/artgallery/.

New-Media Artist Balam Soto to be Featured in Eastern Gallery

Written by Jordan Corey

WILLIMANTIC, CT (10/29/2018) The Art Gallery at Eastern Connecticut State University will feature new-media artist Balam Soto from Nov. 1 to Dec. 7 in its second exhibition of the fall 2018 semester. A reception to open the exhibition, “Interface,” will take place on Nov. 1 from 4-6 p.m. in the Art Gallery, room 112, of the Fine Arts Instructional Center.

Soto creates contemporary, exploratory artworks that fuse low tech with high tech, including interactive art installations and video. He works independently on the artistic and technical sides of his pieces, incorporating technologies such as custom software and electronics. His innovative art aims to connect the human and digital experience.

In addition to being featured in fine art venues worldwide, Soto has also received six Editor’s Choice awards and one Best in Class award at the World Maker Faire, held at the New York Hall of Science Museum. He is the owner of Balam Soto Studio and co-owner of Open Wire Lab, both located in Hartford, CT.

Eastern’s Art Gallery hours are Tuesday and Wednesday 11 a.m.-5 p.m., Thursday 1-7 p.m., Saturday and Sunday 2-5 p.m. All events are free and open to the public. For more information, visit www.easternct.edu/artgallery or call (860) 465-4659.

 

Eastern Named a 2018 College of Distinction

WILLIMANTIC, CT (06/18/2018) Eastern Connecticut State University has been recognized as a 2018-19 College of Distinction by the college-guide/ranking organization Colleges of Distinction.

The organization praised Eastern for its student-centered approaches and high-impact educational practices. High-impact practices of note include Eastern’s community-based learning programs, intensive writing courses, living-learning communities for residents, undergraduate research, internships and other hands-on learning experiences.

“We are absolutely thrilled to recognize Eastern Connecticut State University as a College of Distinction for its effective dedication to student success,” said Tyson Schritter, CEO for Colleges of Distinction. “Colleges of Distinction is so impressed with Eastern’s curriculum, which is enriched with the kind of high-impact educational practices that are most crucial for student development. Such innovative engagement is preparing the next generation of young adults to thrive after college.”

Colleges of Distinction’s selection process consists of a review of each institution’s freshman experience and retention efforts alongside its general education programs, alumni success, strategic plan, student satisfaction and more. Schools are accepted on the basis that they adhere to the Four Distinctions: Engaged Students, Great Teaching, Vibrant Community and Successful Outcomes.

“Colleges of Distinction is far more than a ranking list of colleges and universities,” said Schritter. “We seek out the schools that are wholly focused on the student experience, constantly working to produce graduates who are prepared for a rapidly changing global society. Again recognized as a College of Distinction, Eastern Connecticut State University stands out in the way it strives to help its students to learn, grow and succeed.”

Top U.S. Mental Health Official Speaks at Eastern’s 128th Commencement

                                                                            Eastern Graduates 1,200 Students at XL Center

Written by Ed Osborn

Elinore McCance-Katz

Hartford, CT — Eastern Connecticut State University alumna Elinore McCance-Katz, assistant secretary for mental health and substance use in the U.S. Department of Health and Human Services (DHHS), told the graduates and their families at Eastern Connecticut State University’s 128th Commencement exercises that the current opioid crisis facing the United States is “the nation’s greatest medical challenge since the AIDS epidemic of the 1990s. It is a tragedy of major proportions, and we need to work together to help those addicted get treatment and recover from this disease.”

Eastern’s annual graduation ceremony was held at the XL Center in Hartford on May 15, with more than 12,000 family members and friends cheering on their sons and daughters, brothers and sisters, as 1,105 undergraduates and 85 graduate students received their diplomas.

McCance-Katz told the audience that Eastern had grown from a small college when she attended Eastern Connecticut State College in the 1970s to become “a comprehensive university that has flourished.”

The commencement speaker also received an honorary doctor of science degree from Eastern in a special hooding ceremony during the graduation exercises.  She graduated magna cum laude from Eastern in 1978 with a degree in biology. Following a sterling career in medicine, psychiatry, academic achievement and public administration, McCance-Katz’s DHHS appointment in August 2017 made her the first assistant secretary-level director of the Substance Abuse and Mental Health Services Administration.

After earning her degree from Eastern, Dr. McCance-Katz went on to earn a Ph.D. at Yale University in Infectious Disease Epidemiology in 1984, and then received her M.D. from the University of Connecticut in 1987. 

After completing a residency in psychiatry, she held teaching positions at the Yale School of Medicine, Brown University, Virginia Commonwealth University, the University of California in San Francisco, the University of Texas and the Albert Einstein College of Medicine.

Prior to her HHS appointment, McCance-Katz was Chief Medical Officer of the Rhode Island Department of Behavioral Health, Developmental Disabilities and Hospitals from 2015 to 2017, and served as professor of psychiatry and human behavior and professor of behavioral and social sciences at the Alpert Medical School at Brown University.

Describing how her professional journey had taken her from treating AIDS patients in the 1990s to her current national leadership role in treating substance abuse and mental illness, McCance-Katz described federal and state efforts to develop new recovery services and support services.  “We will turn the tide on this epidemic,” she said, urging graduates to get involved as medical professionals, nurses, counselors and social workers.

 “Be adventurous. Take advantage of every opportunity that comes your way. Be an advocate for those who have not had the advantages you have had.  There is no greater satisfaction than helping others.”

Eastern President Elsa Núñez

Other speakers at the Commencement Exercises included Eastern President Elsa Núñez; Yvette Meléndez, vice-chairof the Board of Regents for Higher Education; and Mark Ojakian, president of the Connecticut State College and Universities System. Additional members of the platform party included Justin Murphy ’98, president of the ECSU Foundation; Father Laurence LaPointe; and other Eastern officials.

Núñez told the graduates their liberal arts education at Eastern was highly prized by American employers.  “In five separate surveys conducted by the Association of American Colleges and Universities over the past decade, the vast majority of employers — over 90 percent! — say they are less interested in specialized job proficiencies, favoring instead analytical thinking, teamwork and communication skills — the wide-ranging academic and social competencies available through a liberal arts education.”

Núñez also urged the graduates to give back to their communities, saying, “I know that the majority of our seniors have found ways to donate their time and good will to making our community a better place to live.  Wherever you end up — in Connecticut or beyond — make sure you continue to give a portion of your time to make a difference in your community.” 

Lastly, Núñez encouraged the Eastern seniors to be active citizens as they participate in the American democratic system of self-governance. She quoted New York Times columnist Bret Stephens, who has written that disagreement is “the most vital ingredient of any decent society. It defines our individuality, gives us our freedom, enjoins our tolerance, enlarges our perspectives, makes our democracies real, and gives hope and courage to oppressed people everywhere.”

“So never abdicate your responsibilities as a citizen to someone else,” said Núñez. “Be willing to question the status quo.  And stand up for the values you believe in.”

More than 40 percent of the graduates were the first in their families to earn a bachelor’s degree. As Connecticut’s only public liberal arts university, Eastern draws students from 163 of the state’s 169 towns. Approximately 85 percent of graduates stay in Connecticut to launch their careers, contribute to their communities and raise their families.

Senior Class President Charlotte MacDonald presented the Senior Class Gift to President Nunez — an annual Class of 2018 scholarship — and thanked her classmates’ families, friends and faculty for supporting the senior class in its journey. Recalling the Eastern tradition where freshmen toss a penny into a fountain on campus as they make a wish — presumably to graduate in four years — MacDonald shared her own three wishes with her classmates. “My first wish is that you go confidently in the direction of your passions . . . the education you have received at Eastern has prepared you for this.  My second wish is for you not only to better yourself but others around you. Contribute to your community, offer things you no longer use to those in desperate need, volunteer your time . . . My last wish is that you find a path to happiness. . . your willingness to conquer challenges is what will separate you from the majority.”

Meléndez, former vice president of government and community alliances for Hartford Hospital, spoke on behalf of the Board of Regents for Higher Education, expressing gratitude to all who had supported Eastern’s graduates — parents, family, friends and especially Eastern’s faculty. “Their commitment to your success is what makes this university so special. Today is a significant milestone.  We hope today is merely a catalyst for a fulfilling life as each of you pursues your goals.”

Michele Bacholle, Distinguished Professor of the Year

 

Ojakian also offered remarks, commending Eastern President Núñez, her administrative team and “an exceptional faculty that guided you onyour journey to get to today.  The journey is now yours. It is your own path and your own truth that will motivate you . . .  Trust your instincts . . .  You have an obligation to leave this world a better place.  Take charge!”

This year’s graduation ceremonies again reflected Eastern’s Commencement traditions, ranging from the Governor’s Foot Guard Color Guard, to the plaintive sound of the bagpipes of the St. Patrick’s Pipe Band and the pre-event music of the Thread City Brass Quintet. University Senate President Maryanne Clifford presided over the commencement exercises; seniors Halie Poirier, Michael Beckstein and Hannah Bythrow sang “America the Beautiful”; Senior Nathan Cusson gave the invocation; and French Professor Michèle Bacholle was recognized as the 2018 Distinguished Professor Award recipient.